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Article updated: 12/4/2012 6:22 PM

Arrest warrant issued for former Antioch Rescue Squad treasurer

By Lee Filas

Already facing felony theft charges, the Antioch Rescue Squad's former treasurer is now the target of an arrest warrant for failing to show up in court as required Tuesday.

Unless he turns himself in, John W. Edgell, 54, of the 40000 block of Deep Lake Road, will be arrested and held in Lake County jail on a $50,000 warrant, Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Kenneth Lorenz said.

Edgell was charged with felony theft over $500 in October, Lorenz said, and was free after posting 10 percent of his $2,000 bond when he was arrested.

Edgell admitted to stealing more than $20,000 from the rescue squad while serving as its treasurer, Lorenz said in court. The charges are for $12,000 of that amount but more charges could be filed later, Lorenz added.

Edgell was the squad's treasurer for 10 years before his resignation in October. He also was an Antioch Township trustee before he resigned in July.

Theft over $500 is a felony punishable by three to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

It is part of a long list of problems facing the rescue squad, which uses volunteers and contract workers to provide emergency medical care 24 hours a day for Antioch and Antioch Township.

The trouble started in May with a lawsuit accusing rescue squad leaders and members of the department of sexually harassing three female squad members.

That was followed by an Illinois Department of Public Health warning over unprofessional behavior. An Aug. 14 letter accused squad members of mistreating patients, beginning shifts within hours of excessively drinking alcohol, and slipping medication in the food and drinks of fellow squad members.

Subsequent weeks saw the village of Antioch sign a 90-day contract with the rescue squad to assert more control, the IDPH issue $15,000 in fines to the squad and the resignation of Chief Wayne Sobczak.

Since then, leadership has been working to address the problems under interim-Chief Brian DeKind.

The district has signed a new 90-day contract with Antioch, redrafted the board of directors and instituted guidelines to better care for patients.

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